Over 1.5 million arrested as Saudi continues crackdown on illegal residents, workers

The kingdom has been detaining people for residential, labour and border security regulations since November 2017



More than 1.5 million people have been arrested in Saudi Arabia as of August 2, as part of the kingdom’s ongoing crackdown on illegal residents, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The kingdom has been detaining people for residential, labour and border security regulations since November last year.

Among those arrested 1.15 million violated residential regulations, 250,804 were caught for flouting labour laws, and 11,8217 violated border security regulations, the report stated.

The total number of people arrested for illegally attempting to cross Saudi’s borders stood at 25,712 people. Among them, 54 per cent were Yemenis, 43 per cent were Ethiopian, and 3 per cent were from other nations.

A total of 385,499 violators have been deported to their respective home countries.

The report also stated that 2,332 people were arrested for their involvement in the transfer, accommodation and concealment of those who violated the law.

While 489 Saudi citizens were detained for transporting or harbouring illegal expatriates, 469 of them have been released after going through legal proceedings with 20 still in detention.

Immediate sanctions were imposed against 259,846 violators, with 212,836 referred to their respective diplomatic missions for travel documents.

The number of expatriates who are still detained stands at 12,203, including 10,633 men and 1,570 women.

Saudi’s crackdown is taking place amid a wider exodus of legal foreign workers, who are facing a higher cost of living following the implementation of a value added tax, increased fuel and electricity prices and a dependents fee.

Also read: Saudi unemployment rises in Q1, 234,000 foreign workers leave jobs